Some two dozen kids with cancer got the thrill of their lives as they trooped up, one-by-one, to meet former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman this afternoon at Children’s Medical Center. The occasion: a “model reveal and photo shoot” for the 31st annual Children’s Cancer Fund Gala, which, it was announced, will be held on Friday, April 26, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.
In addition to Honorary Chairs Troy and Roger, the April fundraiser will feature Gala Chair Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and additional celebrities as runway escorts for the children, who will wear clothes provided by Dillard’s during the fashion-show portion of the Gala. According to Children’s Cancer Fund Executive Director Jennifer Arthur, the April event—called “An Evening in the Garden”—is expected to attract 1,200 guests. It will also include cocktails, dinner, a live auction and dancing.
At this afternoon’s model reveal, emcee Scott Murray welcomed everyone before bringing Kim, Roger, and Troy up to the front. Troy, who’s been involved with the Cancer Fund Gala for 22 years, looked around the crowded room and said, “Boy, this gets bigger every year! As long as they keep asking me back, I’ll keep coming.” Staubach, who’s been involved for 30 years, addressed the topic of pediatric cancer by saying, “If I ever make it up there to the right place, I’m going to ask, ‘Why pick on our kids?'”
Children between the ages of 5 and 16 who were present today and will participate in the Gala as runway models were: Zoe Bowers, Grace Byrd, Anthony Cano, Ronnie Colwick, Emma Danh, Toni Darrough, Max Estrada, Haylie Geraci, Sha’Khia Johnson, Hannah Jones, Reese Lewis, Michael Maldonado, Adrian Martinez, Yulissa Martinez, Eli Patterson, Jacob Pumphrey, Sawyer Rucker, Tabitha Shaw, Aliza Sheikh, Katherine Thomson, Adiela Tobar, Jacob Velez, Caitlyn Warren, Antoine Wilkerson, and Diweni Jituboh.
Those attending today’s event included Fox 4’s Mike Doocy and Brent Christopher, president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation. Said Brent: “This is a lovely turnout, and there’s a nice energy in the room.”
Proceeds from the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala go to the Children’s Cancer Fund nonprofit to support pediatric cancer research and treatment at Children’s Health and UT Southwestern. Since 1982, the nonprofit has donated more than $10 million to the childhood cancer cause.